Bringing the Ocean to Society
31 Jul 2017
Europe does not capitalise enough on the knowledge it has and produces
The European Commission’s High Level Group of Experts has presented its report on maximising the impact of EU Research & Innovation Programmes

The report, entitled "LAB – FAB – APP: Investing in the European future we want" highlights that in the last twenty years, two thirds of economic growth in industrialised countries is attributed to research and innovation. However when compared with the other major economies, Europe is nowadays suffering from a slow growth mainly due to innovation deficit.

The Group’s main message and vision is that “investing in research and innovation is increasingly crucial for shaping a better European future in a rapidly globalising world, where success depends ever more on the production and conversion of knowledge into innovation.”

Its recommendations focus on maximising the impact of EU investments in research and innovation in order to increase prosperity and solve our biggest societal challenges which support the identified main three actions of:

  • More investment on research (“Labs”);
  • Better conversion of the results of science into innovative solutions that generate value for economy and society (“Fabs”); and
  • Applications of the solutions for the benefit of all, involving the society (“Apps”).

The Group's eleven recommendations:

  • Prioritise research and innovation in EU and national budgets, including a doubling of the budget of the post-2020 EU research and innovation programme;
  • Build a true EU innovation policy that creates future markets;
  • Educate for the future and invest in people who will make the change;
  • Design the EU R&I programme for greater impact;
  • Adopt a mission-oriented, impact-focused approach to address global challenges;
  • Rationalise the EU funding landscape and achieve synergy with structural funds;
  • Simplify further, privilege impact over process;
  • Mobilise and involve citizens;
  • Better align EU and national R&I investment;
  • Make international R&I cooperation a trademark of EU research and innovation; and
  • Capture and better communicate impact.

The Group’s proposal not only addressed to European institutions but to all the wide range of stakeholders engaged in research and innovation as national governments; universities; companies; non-governmental organisations; research institutions and many more.

Overcoming the EU’s innovation deficit is a collective responsibility and requires collaboration among all governments, institutions and the society!

EurOcean, with its remit of bridging the (knowledge) gap, embraces its responsibility by, among other, providing an open innovative online database of European and nationally funded marine ad maritime research projects and their results – Marine Knowledge Gate – EurOcean_KG – as well as through the participation in the H2020 COLUMBUS project, which aims to identify and collect, analyse and transfer Knowledge Outputs to relevant end-users (policy, industry, science and wider society).

EurOcean is therefore working, in cooperation and collaboration with many other organisations, not only to enhance the capitalisation of EU’s knowledge by supporting and promoting active dedicated Knowledge Transfer activities as well as, to enhance its EurOcean_KG database to support you and the wider society to:

  • Connect - know who is doing what;
  • Extract – See what was been achieved;
  • Advance – Take advantage to fast track your work; and
  • Inform – let other know what you have accomplished.

To learn more about the EurOcean Marine Knowledge Gate, soon to be completely revamped with new features and information, please see our PPT. 


The EU's High Level Group on maximising the impact of EU Research and Innovation Programmes brings together twelve leading independent personalities from across Europe with a wide range of expertise. The members hold key posts in universities or research organisations, are leaders of industrial giants and dynamic SMEs, serve in high-level policy positions in national or international organisations, and play important roles in civil society organisations.

The Group, chaired by Pascal Lamy President Emeritus of the Jacques Delors Institute, was set up in September 2016 as part of the Horizon 2020 interim evaluation, to advise the Commission on how to maximise the impact of the EU's investment in research and innovation.

On the 3rd July 2017, on the occasion of the 'Research & Innovation – Shaping our Future' conference in Brussels, the High Level Group delivered the report “LAB – FAB – APP: Investing in the European future we want” thatwill feed into the preparation of the successor research and innovation programme to Horizon 2020, due to be proposed by the Commission in 2018.